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sirgog
06-18-2011, 06:26 AM
Thinking of LRing one of my bards, not happy with their low HP. Not fussed with Evasion, as overwhelmingly, when they die or nearly die, it's due to melee damage. Here's what I have in mind. Looking for feedback - I know I've missed something.

Goals:
Mediocre healing (ideally enough to keep a Displaced Turigulon tank alive without mana potions, assuming they are well geared and I've got no shortage of Heal scrolls)
Moderate survivability
Excellent buffs
Mediocre (but relevant) personal DPS, even against the very high AC bosses in Epics

Race:
Human
No choice in this one short of TRing, and any TRs on this toon will be some way into the future.

Feats:
TWF x3
OTWF
Power Attack
Toughness
Weapon Focus, Specialisation and Improved Crit: Slashing
Maximize (maybe Empower Healing instead)
Extend

Enhancements
Ftr Haste 2 (3)
Ftr Toughness 2 (3)
Ftr Str 1 (2)
Human Str 1 (2)
Human Con 1 (4)
Human Toughness 3 (6)
Human Improved Recovery 1 (2)
Bard Inspired Bravery 3 (6)
Bard Inspired Attack 3 (12)
Bard Inspired Damage 3 (6)
Warchanter 2 (6)
Bard Scroll Mastery 4 (10)
Bard Devotion 4 (10)
Bard Lingering Song 3 (6)
Bard Extra Song 1 (1)
Bard Energy of Music 1 (1)

Stats: (32 points for now, this toon won't get TR'ed until some time after my main has all the past lives they want and is back to 20). +2 tomes in all relevant stats.
Str 18
Dex 15
Con 14
Cha 10
others dumped

Modified stats:
Str: 18 + 5 levels = 23 + 2 tome = 25 + 1 enhancement = 26 + 6 (Charged Gauntlets) + 1 + 2 (ToD ring) + 2 (Rage spell) = 37 +3 eAbashai = 40.
Con: 14 + 2 tome = 16 + 1 enhancement = 17 + 7 eAbashai = 24 + 2 Rage spell = 26

Skills:
UMD, Perform, Concentration, Balance, if there's any spare points, Haggle and/or Jump


Draft equipment layout:

All gear listed is either things I already have, or is something I have the resources to acquire (pretty much anything is fine except eMarilithChain, dual eChaosblades, red scale armor, or the like. Avoiding the eClaw gloves as the next set I can make is going to a different toon.

Goggles: Tharnes. Possible alternate location for 300SP/6UMD item too.
Boots: Abashai (Good Luck, +1 excep something or a needed +6 stat).
Gloves: Abashai (GFL)
Cloak: Abashai (Toughness)
Helm: Mineral 2 HP item
Armor: DT (10 amp/+6 Cha/Destruction)
Bracers: SP item (alternate between Shroud-crafted 300SP/6UMD and Glacier as situations require)
Belt/Ring1: Ravager set (+2 Str)
Neck/Ring2: Quite unsure here. Non-epic Torc some of the time for sure (not going to count on ever being able to make two eTorcs, and another toon will get eTorc before this one does). Possibly Tempest set with 20% healing amp (solid for DPS and has +6 Dex for the Reflex save)
Trinket: Initially Bloodstone. If eClawBracers + eManyFacets ever work, redo gear: Bracers = eClaw, trinket = eManyFacets (Wizardry 6), body armor = Marilith/eMarilith

Weapons (rethought slightly):
2x Epic Kron'zek's Cruelty (once the epic items pass occurs), Good augment.
2x Epic Timeblade. My god that thing is underrated. Useless on bosses, but incredible on epic trash, especially the quite large numbers of trash mobs that don't make a DC 25 Will save on a 2. Augment with +7.

Plus the following from Cannith crafting:
+4 Holy Silver of Evil Outsider Bane x2 (later upgrade to +5 HB silver of GEOB)
+4 Holy Cold Iron of Evil Outsider Bane x2
+4 Strength Sapping Silver of Pure Good (the debuff procs often and stacks with Waves of Exhaustion)

sirgog
06-19-2011, 07:07 AM
Bleh, just realised my UMD won't allow no-fail Heal scrolls under a death penalty. (Currently 18 Cha endgame, so 23 ranks + 4 CHA + 4 GH + 6 Greensteel when equipped + 2 Good Luck = 39)

How important do people think 41 UMD is (100% Heal with 1 DP) or 43 (100% with 2)?


Edit to clarify the question - is it worth making not insignificant sacrifices to push up the UMD? Sacrifices would mean things like losing Weapon Specialisation (ouch) to take SF: UMD instead, or frequently wearing the Cartouche or Pirate trinket in place of generally superior items like the Torc or Bloodstone.

NaturalHazard
06-19-2011, 07:11 AM
Bleh, just realised my UMD won't allow no-fail Heal scrolls under a death penalty. (Currently 18 Cha endgame, so 23 ranks + 4 CHA + 4 GH + 6 Greensteel when equipped + 2 Good Luck = 39)

How important do people think 41 UMD is (100% Heal with 1 DP) or 43 (100% with 2)?

it becomes important if you ever fail a check at a critical time esp if say your keeping a tank up.

you prob want to go twf because of the epic swords from house P which will be getting upgraded yeah?

If not you could go 2hf. dump dex, pump more into cha then you wouldnt have to worry about failing your umd check on heal scrolls?

also maybe you could fit in an exceptional 2 charisma somewhere? or the cove trinket? "im assuming of course the 18 cha is +6 item +2 tome.

sweez
06-19-2011, 07:27 AM
Forget HoGF, if you made a Spyglass trinket during the event, just slot that with good luck for a total of +5 umd :p

And yes TWF on a bard is tricky feat-wise, unless you already have the weapons made I'd definitely consider going THF, dropping the chain and taking all of maximize, empower healing and quicken for excellent burst healing.

NoidRoid
06-19-2011, 11:53 AM
I have a somewhat similar build to this, 18/2 human but thf. The main advantages of having 16+ bard levels imo is OID and decent emergency healing. Quicken helps a lot with the effectiveness of both and OTWF seems to be the logical feat to drop.

That being said, my long term plan is 14/6 Horc on my bard because the benefits of >14 bard levels just aren't that great. A year ago when I chose 18/2 human I was hoping for the third tier of WC at some point and horc hadn't come out. Also, thf solves a lot of inherent problems with battlebards. Dumping dex for con is nice, and an eSOS hits virtually everything. I think the standard rule of twf for evasion and thf for non-evasion has some merit.

Burninator
06-19-2011, 07:03 PM
or frequently wearing the Cartouche or Pirate trinket in place of generally superior items like the Torc or Bloodstone.[/color]
Get a Bunny Hat and you get your 3 umd (same type as cartouche) every time you hold a scroll without losing your real hat.

Geonis
06-19-2011, 07:23 PM
Not really sure what you gain vs evasion, another feat?

I personally don't think it's worth it, but to each their own.

Junts
06-19-2011, 07:26 PM
I don't think this is inherently better than pure and its probably worse than 18/2 because there's just no way it will have enough sp to heal (18/2 twf without khopesh can heal, my bard was configured that way prior to tring).

If you're worried about the death penalty situation, just get yourself something you can swap in for a umd boost if you need to. For example, I made an epic big top on mine, who uses a sneak attack hat .. if you're really fussed on healing duty and have some kind of issue with your umd (for example, my sp item is on my boots, so in tod my umd drops), its easy to swap into it.

I used to use the titan gloves for that, but gloves of the claw aren't getting taken off.

I don't think the extra feat and 14 hit points are worth the ability to have enough mana to heal many 6 mans via max and quicken., though. Be 18/2.

I ran about 950 sp as an 18/2, which is a little on the low end but was definitely enough to heal most last stands/deeps/von1s/etc without any other healer around, or heal a base in dragon, etc.

That's a pretty big utility that's just not worth giving up. Each fighter level will cost you like 80-90 sp, so I dont think youll be able to do that at 16/4.

I don't really understand why anyone who was focused on anything except maximizing raid dps + personal dps (ie 20 bard with twf etc etc) would make a bard incapable of at least situational party healing. There are too few healers and its too easy to do.

sirgog
06-19-2011, 08:04 PM
Not really sure what you gain vs evasion, another feat?

I personally don't think it's worth it, but to each their own.

I see it this way:

Compared to Ftr2, Ftr4 gives better Haste boosts (/drool), +2 damage to every swing (Specialisation, which is the bonus feat taken), +1 BAB (which increases attack speed albeit by only ~0.25%) and 18 more HP (Ftr Toughness 2 and base HP). Quite a bit gained. Quite a cost too - as Junts points out, 16/4 will struggle to soloheal epic dungeons. This would concern me more if I wasn't in a guild where practically everyone has a FvS or Clr that's one of their three most-played characters - we're more likely to have 2-3 FvS's in a run than zero. Even if we PUG out 3-4 spots, one of the guildies will usually have a divine off timer and be willing to bring it.

OTOH, Rogue comes with an expectation in epic PUGs at least of having 53 or 54 in Disable/Search (awkward on a 32 pointer that intends to dump Int completely). My rough calculations make me think I'd need to craft a T3 Int skills Greensteel and an Epic Utility Vest to meet those targets, and swap them in for eChainsofFlame, eTTT, eVON5 or similar traps - and I'd need to actually learn where all the important Epic trap boxes are. The last time I played a trapskilled toon, Vision of Destruction was endgame.

Even with Evasion and swapping in one of the U10 +10 Reflex save armors, I'd still be looking at failing over 50% of the single most important Reflex save in the game (eChrono Abashai DBFs), although I would be nearly immune to Horoth's DBFs.

I did seriously consider Brd15/Rog4/Ftr1 and Brd14/Rog4/Ftr2 when planning out this build (Evasion, Sneak Attack 2d6+6, Haste Boost 2), but did not want to lose MCMW, OID or the situational but incredibly powerful AC song.


As for Quicken vs. OTWF: This I'll test out in practice. OTWF is a huge DPS increase on exactly the fights DPS helps most on, and I doubt Destruction and Improved Destruction are enough for me to hit Turigulon/Malicia/Lailat on a 2. We shall see. If I ditch OTWF, I'll probably want Sundering Ooze Guard somewhere (as a swap-in), perhaps on a second set of Dragontouched armor.

Edit - Going to take both at the expense of Extend.




If you're worried about the death penalty situation, just get yourself something you can swap in for a umd boost if you need to. For example, I made an epic big top on mine, who uses a sneak attack hat .. if you're really fussed on healing duty and have some kind of issue with your umd (for example, my sp item is on my boots, so in tod my umd drops), its easy to swap into it.

Taking your idea of the eSilverConcordCloak for the swap-in.

Junts
06-19-2011, 08:21 PM
I see it this way:

Compared to Ftr2, Ftr4 gives better Haste boosts (/drool), +2 damage to every swing (Specialisation, which is the bonus feat taken), +1 BAB (which increases attack speed albeit by only ~0.25%) and 18 more HP (Ftr Toughness 2 and base HP). Quite a bit gained. Quite a cost too - as Junts points out, 16/4 will struggle to soloheal epic dungeons. This would concern me more if I wasn't in a guild where practically everyone has a FvS or Clr that's one of their three most-played characters - we're more likely to have 2-3 FvS's in a run than zero. Even if we PUG out 3-4 spots, one of the guildies will usually have a divine off timer and be willing to bring it.

OTOH, Rogue comes with an expectation in epic PUGs at least of having 53 or 54 in Disable/Search (awkward on a 32 pointer that intends to dump Int completely). My rough calculations make me think I'd need to craft a T3 Int skills Greensteel and an Epic Utility Vest to meet those targets, and swap them in for eChainsofFlame, eTTT, eVON5 or similar traps - and I'd need to actually learn where all the important Epic trap boxes are. The last time I played a trapskilled toon, Vision of Destruction was endgame.

Even with Evasion and swapping in one of the U10 +10 Reflex save armors, I'd still be looking at failing over 50% of the single most important Reflex save in the game (eChrono Abashai DBFs), although I would be nearly immune to Horoth's DBFs.

I did seriously consider Brd15/Rog4/Ftr1 and Brd14/Rog4/Ftr2 when planning out this build (Evasion, Sneak Attack 2d6+6, Haste Boost 2), but did not want to lose MCMW, OID or the situational but incredibly powerful AC song.


As for Quicken vs. OTWF: This I'll test out in practice. OTWF is a huge DPS increase on exactly the fights DPS helps most on, and I doubt Destruction and Improved Destruction are enough for me to hit Turigulon/Malicia/Lailat on a 2. We shall see. If I ditch OTWF, I'll probably want Sundering Ooze Guard somewhere (as a swap-in), perhaps on a second set of Dragontouched armor.




Taking your idea of the eSilverConcordCloak for the swap-in.

I actually use mine full time as cha item + gfl since I'm running ravager and I need a yellow.

And..

Drop extend before quicken. Without quicken you're not a party healer. It's just not so. Why would you surrender the ability to heal whole 6 man instances?

OverlordOfRats
06-19-2011, 08:22 PM
Haven't played end game yet, but do have a suggestion.

If it isn't build breaking, drop Bard Inspired Attack III for Human Versatility III. It's a straight swap at 6 APs each.

You lose +1 attack for the party, but gain a boost of +4 to skills, damage, attack, or saves for yourself. I like it paired with fighter haste. If I need to hit, I use attack and haste. Otherwise I use damage and haste.

sirgog
06-19-2011, 08:51 PM
Haven't played end game yet, but do have a suggestion.

If it isn't build breaking, drop Bard Inspired Attack III for Human Versatility III. It's a straight swap at 6 APs each.

You lose +1 attack for the party, but gain a boost of +4 to skills, damage, attack, or saves for yourself. I like it paired with fighter haste. If I need to hit, I use attack and haste. Otherwise I use damage and haste.

+1 raid-wide To-Hit is too much of a DPS increase in epics for me to ever consider dropping it. Especially now that held high AC mobs are no longer automatically hit.

Blank_Zero
06-19-2011, 09:05 PM
I actually looked at this split when I built Warcrye.

Personally, I wasn't making a healer at all.

I still hit 40 umd with gh and cartouche, and get the same songs as a 20 spellsinger, so it works nicely. I went thf instead though. It made the stats a ton easier. Take a look of interested numot. It's more melee focused definitely, but it might give you a few ideas.

Shade
06-20-2011, 03:53 AM
+1 raid-wide To-Hit is too much of a DPS increase in epics for me to ever consider dropping it. Especially now that held high AC mobs are no longer automatically hit.

Glad that someone gets it..

To-hit is more important then ever these days.

Sure pre mod-5.. People hit faster, had less penalties, autocrits were common.. no longer the case. Glancing blows now suffer -5 to hit, theres no auto crits.. People need to focus more on their to hit scores.

On the same subject .. Unless you have those krozensk cruelties and some +7 gems lined up, as well as other good to hit gear like maybe a epic vulkorim leathers, even using TWF won't be worth it in most epics, as that -2 to penalty to hit can be all the difference in getting power attack on or not.. and without powerful attack, well you may as well be using a two hander where you can afford to keep it going. I have major to hit issues on my TWF barb with power attack on - and he has +7 weapons and epic spectral gloves..

Race.. I dunno why it HAS to be human for such a huge splash with so many bonus feats..

Halfling better imo:
Lose weapon spec, so -2 person dmg,, for
HC - +5 damage for others.. Well worth the tradeoff.
Not to mention:
Halfling cunning - will really help you land your hit on the harder epic mobs with power attack enabled.

Othe then the race selection, build seems fine.

UMD question: Critical imo.. Really must have the full UMD gear if your gona go that low of a CHA. Another reason I like THF for bards better.. Dump dex into cha, less issues gearing up your umd.

JollySwagMan
06-20-2011, 04:31 AM
Get a Bunny Hat and you get your 3 umd (same type as cartouche) every time you hold a scroll without losing your real hat.

This neatly solves the UMD issue

kcru
06-20-2011, 07:15 AM
Gla
On the same subject .. Unless you have those krozensk cruelties and some +7 gems lined up, as well as other good to hit gear like maybe a epic vulkorim leathers, even using TWF won't be worth it in most epics, as that -2 to penalty to hit can be all the difference in getting power attack on or not.. and without powerful attack, well you may as well be using a two hander where you can afford to keep it going. I have major to hit issues on my TWF barb with power attack on - and he has +7 weapons and epic spectral gloves..
.


As far as the rapier/scimitar vs kopesh arguement... since Elf gets bonuses to hit and damage on rapier/scimitar they can afford to turn on PA, where the kopesh is going to suffer penalties if they do and lose damage to misses?


I'm not to the high end yet, so don't really have a feel for hit rate (but Power Attack in PnP always made my skin crawl a bit... I hate misses. On the other hand, losing to-hit for extra AC I had no problem with... as long as they couldn't hit me either it's a draw. :)

NaturalHazard
06-20-2011, 07:22 AM
Glad that someone gets it..

UMD question: Critical imo.. Really must have the full UMD gear if your gona go that low of a CHA. Another reason I like THF for bards better.. Dump dex into cha, less issues gearing up your umd.

pretty much what I tried to say.

Corzak
06-20-2011, 07:45 AM
I'm actually playing a build very similiar to this; same split but slightly different starting stats and THF. The character is also a Dwarf, with the axe enhancements, which I think helps out a bit with to-hit, though he's not in any sort of epics yet and doesn't even have ToD rings. Most epic trash I can fight with PA on, though bosses often require turning it off to keep hits going. I'm not really sure what route I will take to boost that to-hit bonus yet. Upgrading to the eAntique Greataxe after the update should help some, as would picking up a few more str on eAbishai and ToD rings.

I suppose healing is a personal thing. If you think it's absolutely a necessity to heal epics on your bard, then quicken really is a must. Otherwise, it's not so important IMO. My bard doesn't heal epics, and I've never once had a complaint about it, so I'm not too worried.

dpadan17
06-20-2011, 08:14 AM
im playing the somewhat cookie cutter 16brd/2ft/2rog version. I have the UMD to almost have no fails scrolls with epic spyglass and evasion. The difference is my bard is a THF half elf (with pally dilly for saves). When buffed up for quests, she has 35/6 reflex (pally dilly and +5 resistance rune in DT) save being a THF with having a 10 dex. She wields a Esos and hopefully soon, and E antique great axe. The GS items will help me with the extra boost i need to make heal scrolls no fail. Worrying about no fail after you die isn't that important, IMO. You shouldn't be the main healer on your tank, and if you do, your tank must be self sufficient enough like ours in TOD where he only needs heal scrolls. the 16/4 isn't a bad thought. nice boost in haste boost and extra feats is always nice to help boost in areas of desire. I just went this way for the pally dilly and have not regretted it what so ever. She has RARELY failed the save check for her evasion.

Symerith
06-24-2011, 06:50 AM
Hey, I like it, I'm thinking of splashing 2 fighter on my TR bard myself, mainly for the extra hp over 2 rogue.

Just wondering, why would you add good on your kronzerk cruelty? For what monster would good bypass DR?

sirgog
06-24-2011, 06:59 AM
Hey, I like it, I'm thinking of splashing 2 fighter on my TR bard myself, mainly for the extra hp over 2 rogue.

Just wondering, why would you add good on your kronzerk cruelty? For what monster would good bypass DR?

Almost every foe in epic Chronoscope has DR 20/good IIRC (some may be a little more than 20, some maybe less). Some of those foes (the three bosses mainly) are a lot easier when someone is Improved Destructing them.

+7 is still a viable option for an augment, however if you go that way, your eCruelties will be useless in eChrono and you'll be completely reliant upon Cannith crafted weapons.

If you can Cannith craft a +5 Holy Improved Destruction weapon, by all means slot your eCruelties with +7 instead.

I'm not actually slotting them for a while - we'll see how high my Cannith crafting gets, maybe I'll have +5 holy burst silver greater banes for Echrono and epic Devil Assault, and can skip out on good on the eCruelties.

Symerith
06-24-2011, 07:14 AM
Thanks for making it clear :)
I have two epic kronzerks, but I will wait until they upgrade it (hopefully lightning strike effect) to fill that red augment slot. I haven't ran epic chrono yet but I definitely will when I have acquired better gear :S